One of the most common employment law claims is the uneven enforcement of workplace rules. The only foolproof way to counter such lawsuits: Keep complete disciplinary records for all employees.
It’s the only way to show that the discipline you imposed on a member of a protected class (e.g., sex, race, disability) wasn’t more severe than other employees received for similar conduct.
Recent case: The police department for the Village of McFarland fired rookie police officer Shannon Sullivan after she failed to stop to help a fellow officer who crashed his patrol car. The two had been en route to a police chase in another part of town. Rules forbid abandoning a fellow officer in danger.
Sullivan sued, alleging that male rookie cops who had broken other rules got a second chance while she was summarily fired. But the police department brought in all its disciplinary records and could show two things: First, this wasn’t Sullivan’s only transgression—she had been written up for conflicts with co-workers, not enforcing the speed limit and not promptly handling paperwork. Second, the male officers she wanted to compare herself to had committed less-serious rule violations.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s dismissal of the lawsuit. It concluded Sullivan’s offense wasn’t on par with the other officers’ errors. If the police department hadn’t carefully documented each rookie’s errors and mistakes, it would have been tougher to defend the case. (Sullivan v. Village of McFarland, No. 06-3231, 7th Cir., 2007)
Final note: Simply put, good and complete records win lawsuits.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/2923/track-discipline-companywide-to-show-no-double-standard "
- When employee complains, you must investigate -- but you can insist on a civilized complaint
- Can we do anything about employees discussing pay with one another?
- Health reform law: Supreme Court upholds ACA -- What it means for employers
- Leave contracts to the experts: Have attorney draft documents detailing benefits
- Hip-Hop editor wins millions in sex discrimination trial